It probably sounds like a broken record at this point—“Army playing their game,” but if history has anything to show for it—it works. And that’s what the Black Knights need to do in order to come away with a win against VMI this Saturday.
Last weekend was a whirlwind of a victory for a 4-6 team that some might say looks almost unrecognizable in comparison to last season. The Black Knights both needed to pull out a win for their season of course, but are also trying to ensure their bowl eligibility. Army dominated in all aspects of the game: holding the football to nearly twice as long as UMass, netting over 500 yards, and converting on their third and fourth down opportunities. This is in-part the recipe for Army success and if the Black Knights can replicate it, VMI should be no contest.
The Keydets, who are also ironically 4-6, are hoping to end their three-game losing streak, most recently against Furman, 60-21. While the Keydets might not be movers on the ground (they totaled 158 rushing yards against Furman’s 298), but QB Reece Udinski isn’t completely at a loss on the passing side.
Last week, he completed 23 of his 34 attempts for 213 yards, but yielded only one touchdown. In the 12th week of the season, he’s passed for more than 2,400 yards and total 17 TDs. At 6’4’’ and 224 pounds, he clearly towers over Jabari Laws and if anything, you can be sure Udinski will make more than a few more long passing attempts to cut down Army running up the field.
However, under pressure, VMI tends to waiver. Five of their drives against Furman ended in a punt. On the bright side (for them at least), their kicker, Reed King tends to deliver.
A host of VMI receivers got some ball time last week. Sophmore WR Jakob Herres is arguably one of Keydets best weapons in the air. Against East Carolina, the sophomore totaled seven passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Over the weekend, he managed 102 total yards, including being on the receiving end of a 45-yard TD pass from Udinski.
While VMI doesn’t isn’t necessarily lacking in talent, this team hasn’t posed a challenge to Army since 1981.
It’s the 16th meeting between the Black Knights and the Keydets, with Army leading the series, 14-1. This is also Senior Day for many of the Cadets and you can bet, a win on Saturday will be icing on the cake for some whose final season at Army is coming to a close.
How to Watch:
Time: 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Nov. 16
Watch: CBS Sports Network
Location: Michie Stadium, Hudson, N.Y.
Spread: There is none (according to Vegas Insider), keep your money in your wallets this week! Or try your hand at the Air Force or Navy game.